Helping Kids Become Independent Learners Series
Helping Kids Become Independent Learners Series -
Reading, Writing and
Some of the best ways to create independent learners is to encourage creative thinking. Reading is a terrific way to spend a couple of hours and to get the creative juices flowing! If you have littles who can’t yet read independently, there are few things more powerful than to read to them regularly. Let them choose books that interest them from your favorite bookstore or library. Then, find a nice, quiet, snuggly spot and read, read, read. If you’re in the mood to do something more active, you can read to your child and they can act out the book, which encourages a sense of wonder and feeling comfortable performing, which helps with creativity, as well as public speaking.
Creative writing is the perfect way to encourage imagination and a joy of learning. If you have a learner who isn’t writing quite yet, they can dictate a story to you while you write it down, or they can create a picture storybook. Start out with a theme for the story. Will it be about a favorite stuffed animal, or someone they admire in their lives. Maybe a historical figure they are interested in or even a silly conversation they want to have on paper with the family dog! There are so many fun ways for them to explore their world with creative writing. The more they create, the more it becomes like second nature to them. And the positive feedback they receive from family, friends and teachers helps build confidence to tackle other tasks independently.
Anytime arts and crafts are involved you can make a kid happy. One of the best ways to encourage independent habits is to give your child a bin full of arts and crafts supplies! Have them sit outside on the grass, or at the kitchen table or in their room and let them create to their heart’s content. Again, you can always create a theme for a project. But, keep the supplies unlimited. Try not to put a time minimum or maximum on the project. If they only want to spend 5 or 10 minutes on a project, let them know that’s ok. What we don’t want to do is create an experience where they feel like they ‘have’ to do an art project. When you feel like you have to do something, it makes it feel like a chore instead of something fun and creative. Because ultimately, these are all ways to encourage positive interaction, create confidence and a safe environment to move onto more tasks they feel comfortable with doing both with you and on their own.